Imagining the Past’s new season features live recorded sessions from the 2019 HNSA conference brought to you by our host, Greg Johnston. Our fifth episode explores The Feminine Mystique. Ensuring a female protagonist’s thoughts and actions remain true to the norms of by-gone eras and cultures causes headaches for writers – and readers. How does an author maintain immediacy if limited to second hand observations of male dominated history? Should women of the past be depicted with more power and influence than would have been afforded to them? And how do you treat a young heroine in an age where girls were restricted, and children expected to be ‘seen and not heard’? Sophie Masson examined how to portray plausible female protagonists with Juliet Marillier, Elizabeth Jane Corbett and Kirsty Murray.